METALWORKING PRODUCT OF THE YEAR

Winner: Pathtrace

Runners-up: BSA Tools; Mollart; Colchester Lathe; MCP Equipment

Pathtrace’s EdgeCAM is a comprehensive suite of CAM software, developed as a complete Windows package for CNC metal cutting. It covers 2.5- to 3-axis milling; surface machining; rotary and multi-plane milling; 2,4, C and Y multi-axis turning; 2- to 4-axis wire erosion; multiple CNC support and machine tool communications. The system has over 13,000 users worldwide.

With Version 4, Pathtrace has made rapid strides in stand-alone programming for machine tools and improved the links between CAD software and tool path generation.

It also developed partnerships with machine-tool suppliers. For example, a division of Pathtrace established a distribution agreement with Seiki Systems to provide customers with a single-source supply of fully integrated CAM and factory communication software.

With Version 4, Pathtrace has improved EdgeCAM’s automatic programming sequences to give the user faster program generation, which in turn means reduced operator input and fewer keystrokes. It also reduces the risk of error, enhances program security and raises the level of machining information provided to the shopfloor.

All in all, EdgeCAM Version 4 is a suite of high-integrity manufacturing software capable of linking design with machining, based on a heritage of production engineering experience.

Runners-up

BSA Tools’ Speedturn eight-axis, multi-slide lathe combines the output of cam autos with the ease and speed of set-up and changeover of CNC lathes. Benefits also include reduced programming time and one-hit, multiple-operation machining.

Mollart’s FMC deep hole machining centre was specifically designed to produce holes at a depth ratio of 200:1, combined with the ability to perform conventional operational routines including milling, boring and threading in a single cycle.

The Tornado A Series lathes from Colchester Lathe have an advanced design featuring an innovative `production capsule’ concept. Stimulated by extensive research in the subcontract machinist market, it is one of the most cost-effective CNC machines on the market.

With time being increasingly critical in product development, MCP Equipment’s vacuum casting system scores highly by helping designers and engineers cut development time and costs by around 90%.